Hypertension is almost always easy to treat but often exceedingly difficult to keep under control. As documented in the latest survey of a representative sample of the US population, more than half of hypertensives are being treated but only 34% have their blood pressure controlled, defined as below 140/90 mmHg on three measurements at two different times (1). Although hypertension remains the most common reason for nonpregnant adults to visit a physician in the US (2), these disappointing rates of control point to a number of problems: Many hypertensive patients have not been diagnosed or started on treatment, and many physicians have not provided adequate amounts of medications. But the most likely problem is inherent to the nature of hypertension: a lifelong condition that is usually asymptomatic for many years but that requires daily therapy that may in itself induce symptoms.
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